VIDEO: Artist’s Malaysian creation

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Artist Panni Poh Yoke Loh is back in her Sheffield kitchen after exhibiting her paintings, Sunset over Attercliffe, in Moscow.

Travel-loving Panni, also a teacher and researcher at Sheffield Hallam University, says: “I got the recipe from my auntie Ai Lee. My paternal family are Malaysian Chinese and on many visits my daughters Gemma and Sophie and I have enjoyed the national dish Nasi Lemak. Pandan leaves and anchovies can be bought from Tai Sun supermarket on Matilda Street.”

Panni Loh at her home in Pitsmoor with granddaughter Jasmine

Panni Loh at her home in Pitsmoor with granddaughter Jasmine

Coconut Milk Steamed Rice:


2 cups of rice

5 pandan leaves

1 small can coconut milk

Tamarind juice

1 cup of water

Tamarind pulp (ping-pong ball size)

Sambal Ikan Bilis:

½ red onion, sliced

1 cup ikan bilis (dried anchovies)

1 garlic clove

4 shallots

10 dried chillies

1 tsp of prawn paste

¼ teaspoon of salt

1 tblsp sugar

Side dishes:

2 hard-boiled eggs, halved

3 small sardines or smelt fish, halved

1 small cucumber, chopped


Rinse and drain rice, add coconut milk, pinch of salt and some water and three pandan leaves. Cook. Rinse dried anchovies, then fry until they turn light brown and put aside. Pound the prawn paste with the shallots, garlic and de-seeded chilies with a mortar and pestle.

Soak the tamarind pulp in water for 15 minutes, squeezing constantly to extract the flavour. Heat some oil in a wok and fry the spice paste until fragrant. Add onion and anchovies. Stir well. Add tamarind juice, salt and sugar. Simmer on low heat until it thickens. Set aside. Season fish with salt and deep-fry. Place rice on two fresh pandan leaves, pour sambal on top and serve with fish, cucumber and eggs.